The first of three articles, this is about Planning for Coaching. Coaching for Performance is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is the first of three about Coaching for Performance: Planning for Coaching. The next article is about Carrying out the Coaching. The final article is about Reviewing and Follow Up.
What & Why
Coaching for Performance is about unlocking people’s potential so they set high positive expectation around the goals they intend to deliver and exceed. It’s helping them adopt a realistic view of what it will take to be successful in achieving those goals. And it’s supporting them in achieving the goals by adopting an inquisitive non-directive approach, asking purposeful questions, listening, giving feedback and adopting a coaching style or mind-set in all aspects of leadership communication.
Quote from the Harvard Business Review: “Good coaching is simply good management. It requires many of the same skills that are critical to effective management, such as keen powers of observation, sensible judgment, and an ability to take appropriate action. Similarly, the goal of coaching is the goal of good management: to make the most of an organization’s valuable resources”.
This competency is about achieving and exceeding business goals through other people by helping them understand and achieve the objectives of their role and by helping them take a self-directed approach to their own development.
How – Planning & Preparing for Coaching
Here are some practical principles you can follow for Planning for Coaching for Performance:
Clarify Performance. Start by ensuring you have a clear idea of the overall business goals in your part of the business. This means understanding what you need to achieve in the current business period (your goals), what your boss needs to achieve and maybe even their boss too. In each case do the goals pass the SMART test? Clarifying performance ensures you understand the overall performance context for your coaching. This means you will be able to select appropriate and priority coaching subjects relating to each of your Coachees.
Create Opportunities. Decide how you will invest your discretionary leadership time to carry out the coaching. Your time is limited and needs to be rationed according to a return on coaching investment formula. You need to make decisions on which of your direct reports need more of your time and which less – differentiation according to their needs and the needs of the business. Some coaching opportunities will be pre-planned – for example, monthly one-to-one sessions or a series of planned sessions over a period (call this a ‘coaching journey’). Others will be ad hoc and in the moment – for example, observe and responds in your daily leadership role or on demand based on Coachee request.
In the next part of this article you will discover more ‘how to’ tips on Carrying out the Coaching.
In the Coaches Toolkit look for ‘Templates – SMART Goals’, ‘Templates – Coaching Preparation’, ‘Templates – Coaching Pre-Reading’
The LARA Leadership Learning series consists of 10 short modules published as eBooks on Amazon Kindle. They are organised against the Leader of Others leadership competencies. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can read these eBook for free.
Coaching for Performance: GROWing human potential and purpose (fifth edition). John Whitmore.
The Tao of Coaching. Max Landsberg.